Producing, Consuming & Perceiving Prisons in the Former Soviet UnionIn The Gulag's Shadow
Tomsk fieldwork is in! (20/12/2019)

In depth interviews and focus groups were conducted with different target groups including the general public and former prisoners in Tomsk, Siberia. The research was based at the Memorial Museum of the History of Political Repression - the Investigative Cells of the NKVD.

Our fantastic fieldteam of Irina Lisovskaya and Alena Kravtsova have spent November and some of December in Tomsk conducting focus groups and interviews with the general public and former prisoners. Irina and Alena have been based out of the Museum of the History of Political Repression, itself based in the former cells of the NKVD police building. Thanks to Vasilii Antonovich Khanevich the museum’s director for being incredibly welcoming and helpful, to his staff and all our respondents in the wonderful city of Tomsk. (Photo credits: Irina Lisovskaya, Alena Kravtsova, Gavin Slade).

The entrance to the museum

The basement corridor that formally served as investigation cells in the early and mid twentieth century.

The staff at the museum have incredible personal stories to tell of how their families arrived in the Tomsk region as victims of the repressions.

A memorial stone stands outside the museum, in memory of the victims of political repressions who suffered in the Tomsk region.

The museum was the first of its kind, established at the end of the Soviet period and supported by a wealth of important figures from politicians, to religious leaders, and human rights defenders (including Alexander Solzhenitsyn).

The museum’s displays are simple and effective

The intrepid Vasilii Antonovich Khanevich (left) has run the museum from its inception.

Tomsk is a truly beautiful Siberian town at any time of year

A small hill above the town is marked by a commemorative cross to those who were executed at this site.


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